Insider Highlights and Luxury River Journey
Bespoke Holiday Itinerary / Experience Tour

Info : Insider Highlights and Luxury River Journey

Discover the cultural treasures of Myanmar in style at an unhurried pace. Your holiday incorporates stays in fantastic hotels combined with a river journey on one of the country’s most luxurious vessels. Your holiday will include Experience Travel Group signature tours of Yangon and Lake Inle, 7 (or 4) nights aboard the superb Sanctuary Ananda exploring Bagan, Mandalay and many rural villages in between. You’ll also head to Ngapali for a relaxing beach stay in paradise.

  Highlights include:

  • Discovering the incredible historical heritage of Myanmar – the fabulous temples and architectural feats.
  • A fantastic cruise experience along the Irrawaddy River aboard the Sanctuary Ananda.
  • A range of unique and wonderful experiences, get immersed in local village life, enjoy lantern-lit riverbank dinners and explore the otherworldly temple complex of Bagan
  • Four days relaxing in idyllic surrounds at Ngapali Beach

As with all of our suggested itineraries, we can tailor-make your holiday to suit your budget, style and expectations. Find out about our exclusive ‘Journey Planner’ here.

Pricing & Inclusions

An indicative price for the 15 day holiday (including the 4 night Sanctuary Ananda Cruise) is £6350 pp in high season and £5400 in mid-season. 

An indicative price for the 18 day holiday (including the 7 night Sanctuary Ananda Cruise) is £7,800 pp in high season and £6200 in mid-season.

Prices are less in low season and higher over Christmas.

Call our Myanmar experts on 020 7924 7133, for an inclusive, personalised quotation for your preferred dates.   

High Season = cruise departures in Jan, Feb, Oct, Nov. 

Mid Season = cruise departures in March, September and early December.


As every holiday is unique - Call our experts on 1-888-577-8452 for an inclusive, personalised quotation for your preferred dates or use the quote request form below...


Your personalised quotation with Experience Travel Group will include:

  • International Flights (which can be omitted from your quotation if you prefer)
  • Accommodation as described
  • Privately guided tours and transfers 
  • Original Experience Travel Group "Signature" experiences 
  • Full financial protection (full ABTA and ATOL bonding)
  • Meals as described
  • 24 hour in-country backup whilst away
  • Your own dedicated travel expert in the UK 

For more on our pricing policy read here.

Day-to-Day Itinerary : Insider Highlights and Luxury River Journey


Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Mandalay.

DAY 2   MANDALAY    Immersive culture and local life

Upon arrival in Mandalay your private guide will meet you for the transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities and settle into Myanmar.


Today you’ll board the Sanctuary Ananda boat in Mandalay to begin your once-in-a-lifetime river cruise. After settling into your deluxe suite (one of just 21 rooms on board) the ship will set sail and you’ll enjoy a fine lunch whilst passing pagoda speckled hills. In the afternoon visit an important centre for Buddhism and take in the breath-taking views from the top of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda terrace. At dusk you’ll visit the former capital Amarapura, before arriving at the famous U Bein Bridge a great spot for a glass of champagne at sunset.

Day 4-6  Sanctuary Ananda  Sailing from Mandalay to Bagan

Three days are spent cruising down the Irrawaddy River. There will be many stops to explore the incredible river-side sights, the glittering pagodas, the ancient capitals and the fascinating local villages. The village of Sin Kyun is sponsored by a philanthropic organisation ran by the Sanctuary Ananda parent company and there you can learn a little about the rural way of life in a location that is rarely visited by other tourists.  

By the third day of the cruise you’ll arrive at Bagan where you’ll have time to explore the archaeological site and perhaps even take an early morning balloon ride over the iconic temples. You’ll also have chance to visit spectacular Mount Popa where you may choose to climb the 777 steps to the summit.

As you sail you could choose to participate in on-board activities like a Burmese cooking class, sunrise yoga or lectures on the traditions of Myanmar. Alternatively you could enjoy a massage or simply take in the utterly glorious scenery from the ship's deck.

In the evenings the ship will often anchor in time for a sunset cocktail followed by dinner. There will be special land based dinners too such as one on a sandbank against the backdrop of the twinkling temples of Bagan.  

DAY 7 fly to lake inle (or stay on SANCTUARY ANANDA for 3 more days)

If you have opted for the 5 day/4 night cruise from Mandalay to Bagan you will disembark today and transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Heho – the gateway for Lake Inle.

Alternatively you can stay aboard for a further 3 nights and experience the full cruise loop back to Mandalay. The extra 3 days will see a further day exploring the Bagan temples and other local villages and gives you more time to absorb the magic of the Irrawaddy River in an unhurried way, enjoying the backdrop and the first-class hospitality as you travel. Call our Mynamar experts if you’d like to learn more about the longer cruise itinerary.

If you do take the longer cruise, the rest of the itinerary will continue as follows and the holiday will extend to 18 days.

Day 7 & 8  Lake Inle  floating gardens and fishermen

After landing at Heho your private guide will meet you and you’ll transfer to Inle Lake via paddy fields and winding streams, stopping to explore caves en route if you wish. When you reach the lake you will board a private boat for the journey to your hotel. Towards the end of the day you have the option of a fascinating sunset canoe trip on the lake.

You’ll spend a full day exploring Inle Lake including a private boat tour of the floating gardens and farms that move around on the water surface. You’ll see the local fisherman rowing in their one-leg style and perhaps taste some local wine. If you didn’t get chance to do so at Bagan, Inle is another location where you may like to treat yourself to a Hot Air Balloon Ride for aerial views of the lake.

Days 9 -12  Ngapali Beach  relax overlooking The Indian Ocean

You’ll depart Heho for the direct flight to Thandwe – the gateway for Ngapali Beach. Here your guide will meet you for the transfer to your tranquil beach front retreat.

Spend a further 3 days here enjoy the peaceful beach setting, the lovely resort and the luxury spa facilities.

Day 13&14 Yangon   Explore the city on our Signature Tour

A quick flight takes you back to Yangon, the final stop on your Myanmar adventure.

Here, with your guide you’ll have time to enjoy the colonial architecture, take a rickshaw ride to a local market and visit the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, whose recognisable golden stupa dominates the city's skyline.

A morning trip on the circle train is a great opportunity to observe a little of day-to-day city life before your final evening in “Burma”.

Day 15 Fly Home (*This will be Day 18 if you choose the long cruise option)

Today you depart Myanmar for your flight back to the UK.

Insider Highlights and Luxury River Journey Experiences

You can book this holiday tour on its own, with flights or it can be tailored for you.

Here are the experiences & activities within this holiday as standard...

Customer Feedback
Our guides in Yangon, Bagan, and Kalaw / Lake Inle were wonderful. They struck the right balance of explaining the history and importance of the sights we were seeing without over-doing it, they knew where to get the best view/experience at what time and could rearrange experiences so we got the most out of them.

Customer Protection


The air holiday packages shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 9324. Please see our booking conditions for more information.

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